Tuesday Teaser & Intro: King of the Friend Zone


I am powering through the remainder of The Power of the Matchmaker series. I am hoping to finish reading this one tonight so I can meet my goal of reading five books this month!

31752357Synopsis ~ King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt

Esme Taylor has an amazing fiancé, a lifelong best friend, and a problem. The problem stems from the fact that her best friend is named Hunter and, well. . .he’s kind of (totally) hot. It’s hate at first sight when her fiancé, Jon, and Hunter meet. Jon’s convinced that Hunter is in love with Esme, and that Hunter must be out of the picture if their upcoming marriage is to succeed.

Esme thinks Jon is paranoid.

The truth is, Jon’s not that far off. Hunter is in love with his best friend and always has been. What Jon has wrong, however, is that Hunter never had any plans of ruining Esme’s happily ever after. Hunter wants what’s best for Esme, even if that’s not him.

When Jon pushes hard to end Esme and Hunter’s friendship, opposition comes from the most unlikely of places. It’s an eccentric lady with a cookie cart who suggests a different solution to Esme’s problem: Hunter and Esme should give each other a chance.

They’ve both thought of the possibility over the years—of course they have. But with a ring already on Esme’s finger and a heap of hurt feelings and broken trust in the mix, there hasn’t been a worse time to explore the depths of their feelings for each other.

Both Esme and Hunter think it’s time to move on and leave childhood crushes in the past. The question is: Can one woman and the taste of one cookie change their minds?


Chapter 1

“So is this it?” Jon asked, looking up at the large columns topped with weeping women. “The happiest place on earth?”

Esme smiled as she pulled him into the park. “Well, it’s my happiest place on earth. I’m sure Disney would disagree.”


There were a lot of places Hunter didn’t want to be at the moment, but sitting at Greg and Audra Taylor’s dining room table with four happy couples was pretty much at the top of his list. Never mind that seven out of the other eight guests were some of his favorite people. Bette and Davis were his honorary aunt and uncle, as were Kate and Ed. Hunter loved them like family, just like he loved the Taylors. It was the guy sitting on the opposite corner of the table that had Hunter glancing at his watch every few minutes and debating whether or not he’d reached the point in the evening where he could politely excuse himself. [Loc 943]

Would you keep reading? 

tuesdayTeaser Tuesday is hosted by The PurpleBooker. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you’re reading. No spoilers, please! List the author and book title too. Link up HERE.

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon. Link up HERE.


Top Ten Tuesday: MGs with Food

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.

MGs with Food!


Middle grades is a favorite go-to, especially in a slump. What is your favorite go-to? 

Cover Reveal: The Supernatural Pet Sitter

The Supernatural Pet Sitter
Diane Moat
(The Magic Thief, #1)
Publication date: March 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Middle-Grade

Pepper is a 12 year old who pet sits magical animals. When someone steals their magic, Pepper must find the thief before the thief finds her!

Full Description TBA

Add to Goodreads


Author Bio:

Diane is a Tennessee transplant, animal rescuer, and nurse. Dog Gone is her debut novel, born from years of hearing animal rescuers say about animal abusers, “If only I could get my hands on that person…” Diane is assisted by her many rescue dogs.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



Blitz + Giveaway: State of Allegiance

State of Allegiance
Summer Lane
(Collapse #9)
Publication date: February 24th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult

Be brave. Be vigilant. But above all, be loyal.

In the wake of a dangerous but successful mission to Yukon City in Alaska, Cassidy Hart now finds herself back in California, at the naval air station in San Diego. Together, she and Chris now face their most terrifying threat yet: nuclear destruction.

Surviving in a world gone nuclear is easier said than done. Faced with the prospect of being wiped off the face of the earth by Omega’s nuclear arsenal, Cassidy, Chris and their fellow rebel friends stage an incredible, daring journey into the Pacific Rim with the hope that they will be able to seize a weapon that could turn the tide of the war in the militia’s favor.

The clock of the apocalypse is counting down.
Choices must be made. Relationships will be strained. True love will be put to the ultimate test.
It’s militias versus Omega. Hope versus destruction.

Where does your allegiance lie?

Choose carefully.

Goodreads / Amazon

Interview with Author Summer Lane

How does it feel to publish the 9th installment of the Collapse Series – and your 16th overall?
It feels unreal! When I was a kid, I always pictured myself as an author, sharing my stories with readers, but I admit I didn’t really think that would materialize until I was much older than I am right now. I’ve been really blessed – and I’ve worked really hard!

What’s a typical day in your life like?
I do manage a business, so while I do a lot more than simply write manuscripts, writing certainly is the base of everything that I engage in. I just got a German Shepherd puppy named Kona, and she gets me up early in the morning (earlier than usual, haha!), and I’ll start work then. If I have a good day, I’ll be done with work around 2:30 or 3. If it’s a long day, I’ll be working until 6.

What is State of Hope going to be like – and is it the last book in the series?
State of Hope is going to be long, intense and flushed with adrenaline. There are so many secrets to be revealed, so many character plots to be tied up neatly, and most importantly: Cassidy’s conclusion in this apocalyptic war. While Hope is indeed the final installment in the Collapse Series, it is not the last book in the Collapse universe. I certainly do have some plans for Cassidy in the future – they may not be as huge as Collapse, but trust me: I have plans.

How do you stay motivated and healthy in your career as a writer?
I stay motivated by keeping my eye on the prize: I remove negativity from my life, because nobody needs that. I try to surround myself with people who really care about me and support what I do. Staying healthy, for me, at least, is actually really difficult. My profession requires a lot of sitting, so I have to make an extra effort to get up, walk and move. It’s also tempting to snack on junk food working in an office (am I right?). I try hard to indulge only with healthy snacks: I have celery sticks and apples in the fridge, I like cheese, and any gluten-free cracker in combination. I also just discovered baked parmesan crisps. Oh, my heart!

Advice to aspiring authors?
Don’t let anybody bring you down. Never take no as a final answer. Work hard, and it will pay off, one way or another.


Author Bio:

Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of the Collapse Series, Zero Trilogy, Bravo Saga, Collapse: The Illustrated Guide and the adventure thriller, Unbreakable SEAL.

Summer owns WB Publishing. She is an accomplished journalist and creative writing teacher. She also owns an online magazine, Writing Belle, where she has interviewed and worked with countless authors from around the globe.

Summer lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, where she enjoys reading, collecting tea, visiting the beach and the mountains, and counting down the days until she has her very own puppy (if you’ve read Bravo: Apocalypse Mission, you’ll understand).

Website / Blog / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



  • Grand Prize: Collapse Prize Pack; $20 Amazon Gift Card, Collectible Collapse Tote Bag, Magnetic Cassidy Hart Calendar, Collapse Tee-Shirt, Special Edition Pen, Autographed Copy of Bravo: Apocalypse Mission, Bravo Plush and Wristband, and Personal Note from Summer Lane, the author.
  • Runner-Up 1: $10 Amazon Gift Card
  • Runner-Up 2: $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Audiobook Review: Cruel Beauty


15839984Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: January 2014
Length: 352 pages
Series?: Cruel Beauty Universe #1
Genre: Fantasy Retelling, Romance

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon


my review

The Skinny

Nyx’s father made a deal with the most notorious Gentle Lord, a demon lord, known to twist and turn bargains in his 900 years. Now, Nyx has a duty to her family and her entire world to kill the demon lord. Her resentment runs deep.

Elizabeth Knowleden narrates the audiobook. She has a crisp, steady voice. Whether the accent or dialect, I picked up on it in her speech. It was pleasant and had a lyrical rhythm to it.

The Players

Nyx – a young Arcadian woman forced to marry the Gentle Lord

Ignifex – The Gentle Lord or Demon Lord

Shade – a shadowy figure that lives in the castle and comes out at night

The Quote

“If you start wondering how this house works, you’ll likely go mad. That could be amusing, I suppose. Especially if it’s the kind of madness that causes you to run naked through the hallways. Do feel free to indulge in that anytime.”

The Highs and Lows

  • Greek mythology. This world of Arcadia is rich in Greek mythology. While I don’t know very much, it was informative. All the mythology stories are telling. I think they were meant as parallels to hint at the main storyline. But it was also A LOT of information. There was definitely information dump, and it wasn’t always transitioned well. At times I was grappling with how it all fit together.
  • Nyx’s background. For all of her life, Nyx’s purpose is to live to kill the Gentle Lord and save Arcadia. Her father struck an ill-fated bargain with him, and Nyx has to live with the consequences. She isn’t groomed and doted on like her sister Astraia, she is trained for the day she will leave her father’s household. Given her upbringing (and no choice in the matter), she is actually a pretty strong individual. Despite her purpose, she stops and thinks before she leaps. Once in the castle, she realizes the pressures that engulf Ignifex and she almost wants to help him instead of destroy him. That shows great character strength, especially in defiance of all she has learned and been raised to be.
  • Pacing. Be warned it is excruciatingly slow in the beginning. Things don’t pick up until Ignifex and Shade are introduced.
  • Bemoaning. Nyx bemoaned her fate the entire book. It was constantly back to how her family treated her and how her life was ruined due to her predicament, and damn her father for putting her here. I understood clearly the first time. It didn’t need to be repeated multiple times. This detracted from the plot and only seemed to add filler. I seriously considered DNFing the audio for this reason.
  • Ignifex. AKA The Demon Lord. He is a classic bad boy, and hated by many. He causes harm and pain with his bargains, always asking for a high price. But little do the Arcadians know he is himself a prisoner as much as they are to his bargains. Ignifex represents the physical side of an individual. Ignifex doesn’t know anything because he is missing the mental side that makes up a person.
  • Shade. Shade is indeed like a shadow. He looks strikingly similar to Ignifex, but is a shadowy figure. He represents the mental side of an individual. Shade houses all the memories of Ignifex, but is lacking the physical side to do anything. After a while, Shade creeped me out.
  • Weird love triangle. Between Nyx, Ingnifex, and Shade there was this weird love triangle thing. It was strange and unnerved me a little bit. I never knew how much Nyx was going to act upon her feelings. I wasn’t ever sure where Shade was leading Nyx, or how things were going to come about with Ignifex. For that part, the suspense and curiosity got to me…sometimes in a creepy, hair-standing way.
  • The Retelling. I can kind of identify the parallels between Beauty and the Beast and this story. It is not an immediate recognitions as a B&tB retelling, but it becomes crystal clear at the end.
  • The Ending. It was confusing, to say the least. It was unsatisfying to me.


The Take-Away

This book was confusing and quite a bit odd. The beginning was slow, there were sudden brain-dumps of Greek mythology, and the ending was extremely confusing for many readers. I nearly DNFed this book so many times, and the twist ending wasn’t really worth the time I wasted listening.

Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip? 




6474354When my older brother was thirteen, he started a writing club with his friends and wouldn’t let me join because I was only eight. I promptly swore that I would become a writer and make him sorry.

He still isn’t sorry. (I checked.) But in 2014 I got to publish my first novel with HarperCollins, so I guess everything worked out okay.

Some other facts about me:

I got a B.A. in English at the University of Dallas, and an M.St. in Medieval English at Oxford. Naturally, I moved to Seattle and got a job with computers.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Cover Characteristics: Cookie Jars

Cover Characteristics2

This is a new meme hosted by Sugar & Snark. It came about when Sugar was wondering which cover to use for her #70 Cover of the Week post. Sugar kept on thinking of more than one, and they all seemed to have a theme/characteristic. So she decided to switch things up a bit!

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the week’s particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit). You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!

Cookie Jars

I didn’t do so great with this one, but it gave me some other cover ideas!

Read More »

Sunday Post ~ The Birthday Week

0abf9b9e-b7ac-4d59-b451-7eb7c64ea1b9_zps47hi5hueThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Suday Post Meme.

I have been seriously stressing this week. I spent over 25 hours this week working on the yearbook, between what should have been my planning time with my partner and my own time at home. I planned to write two reviews a night to get the six done I needed to write this week, and I only got three and a half written. Now I have one more to add to my list.

I was so stressed last month that I didn’t get my cycle, and I was worried about that again. My boss has returned to work after weeks MIA, and I tried for three days to go talk to her. Third time’s the charm! I have a day this coming week dedicated to fully working on the yearbook to pore over the fine lines and tiny details. I’m terrified of finding mistakes post-submission. Last year it was a matter of “get it done in two months!” and this year I need to go over it with a fine-tooth comb.

Wednesday was my birthday, and the social butterfly of my team made a comment about it on Wednesday. I figured I didn’t have to say anything since she’d say it for me. Nope. I was a little disappointed, but I wore my french fry crown all day and the kids loved it.

See my French Fry Crown?! This was my birthday last year. Really miss my partner, who did all this!

Friday for lunch my team decided to do an outdoor, belated lunch to celebrate my birthday. They brought their lawn chairs and we sat outside in the sun eating hot dogs and trying not to let our chips blow away (all of mine did).

Saturday night the man and I met my mom and brother for my birthday dinner. It was chilly, and it was one of my favorite places. We actually sat outside in the covered patio with the heaters. I filled up too much on their fabulous queso bean dip.

And I can’t wait to take pictures and share what the man got me for my birthday! I didn’t expect it at all, and I can’t wait for the three different pieces to arrive. 🙂

We are also making small plans to do this and that to prepare for his dad and stepmom coming down in March. I am excited to see his dad again, but a little nervous at the same time. We have some housekeeping to take care of before they arrive, and we are buying new bedroom furniture and playing musical bedrooms moving the current set into Baby’s room.

Cera has stopped pottying in Baby’s room!!  The man moved the fake grass to the living room where she kept going on the big bean bag (which we think is officially trashed now), and she is going on the fake grass! Her aim is a little off, but we’ll take it. We are so happy. Although, we see new blinds for the front window in our future. Progress!


Obsidian Sky | Autumn’s Dance | YA Lit Giveaway | The Piper’s Price



  • Monday
    • Cover Characteristics ~ Cookie Jar
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ TBD
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ King of the Friend Zone
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday
    • Famous Last Words #22
    • Blitz + Giveaway ~ The Piper’s Price
  •  Friday
    • Feature Follow Friday ~ TBD
    • Book Blogger Hop #10


I finished Chasing Fireflies on Sunday. It left something to be desired, to say the least. I just kept hoping there would be something spectacular and twisty that I would love. Regardless, this is my eighth book of the year and puts my Goodreads goal at 15% completed.

I started the next book in the Power of the Matchmaker series I have, King of the Friend Zone. My students and I will start chapter 13 of The Phantom Tollbooth. I’ve noticed now that we are at the last stretch of the book that the chapters are getting twice as long as they were. I’m still holding out that we will finish it before spring break in two weeks.



I started this feature as part of my Sunday Posts in the fall. After being asked by a coworker – in all seriousness – if I had a life, I decided to join disc jockey Bobby Bones of Kase 101 in doing one human thing each week.

How does it work?

In order to not lose what little sanity I have left and in order to not become enslaved to the Texas Education Agency via my school district, I will…

  • leave school within an hour of dismissal once a week
  • go do one human thing with another human
  • talk about my human thing on the blog each week

I wasn’t that great at leaving work at a reasonable hour this week. I finally had to just walk out on Wednesday after my duty and do some self-care. I felt really down Thursday and I think I might have had a low-grade fever in retrospect. I waltzed out the door on Friday as soon as I got my things together.

No true human connections besides a short convo with Photographer Dad roommate.